Re: [OPE] Venezuela again [lots or elections]

From: Alejandro Agafonow <>
Date: Thu Jan 29 2009 - 03:13:00 EST

But your head of state has to be constrained by the general plan voted in elections, where political parties compete for votes. One can reasonably expect exceptional and charismatic figures associated to the elected general plan.   It seems that the best guaranty against the bias of elections toward the upper ranks is not the absence of elections per se, but the absence of large inequalities and educational gaps that make people more prone to mythologize charismatic figures.   Between 1960s and 1970s Venezuela was in the way to achieve this equality under the democratic rule of socialdemocrat presidents. And this explains why Venezuela smoothly moved from a fragmented party system to a two-party system in absence of formal entry barriers, which at that time did characterize most Latin American countries, Spain, Portugal and other European countries.   Regards,A. Agafonow ________________________________ De: Paul Cockshott <> Para: Outline on Political Economy mailing list <> Enviado: jueves, 29 de enero, 2009 1:02:58 Asunto: RE: [OPE] Venezuela again[MESSAGE NOT SCANNED] Whilst not doubting the leaders like Chavez and Castro are heroic figures who are on the side of the masses in their respective countries, I think one should be very wary of a political strategy that depends excessively on such figures. The problem with Petras analysis is that he still associates democracy with elections. If you have a constitution with a head of state who exerts considerable power, and if you have elections to that head of state position, it becomes vital to the left to hold onto the few exceptional and charismatic figures that they have available to them. This is because elections to high office tend to favour those from the upper ranks of society. An outsider can only break in where he appears to have exceptional personal merit like Chavez or Obama. The left in Venezuela seem to doubt that they have another figure of Chavez stature. The answer though should not be to simply dismiss the objections raised to term limits, since once a constitutional change is in place, Chavez will not be the only president able to take advantage of re-election. There may be future ones less to your likeing who can exploit the same provision. Better by far to abolish the position of personal head of state, and instead select by lot from among the voters each year an executive committee of 50 to fulfill the current functions of the head of state. Paul Cockshott Dept of Computing Science University of Glasgow +44 141 330 1629 ________________________________ From: on behalf of Sent: Wed 1/28/2009 1:21 PM To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list Subject: [OPE] Venezuela again[MESSAGE NOT SCANNED] A very important political event will take place in Venezuela next Feb,15: a constitutional referendum to allow the indefinite re-election of the President. James Petras has produced an important analysis of this event, of which I quote the first paragraph and the conclusion. I don't agree with his interpretation of the nature of Chavez' regime, but I think his analysis of the political meaning of the referendum and of the importance its approval is essentially correct. comradely, Claus. Article at First paraghaph: "On February 15, 2009, Venezuelan voters will go to the polls in order to vote on a constitutional referendum, which would allow for the indefinite re-election of the President. The vote on the constitutional amendment has raised fundamental questions about the relation between electoral politics and democracy. The proposed constitutional change, and specifically the constitutional amendment allowing for the indefinite re-election of the President requires an examination of two basic concepts: electoral systems and democracy. The distinction between these two concepts dominates the political conflict between the supporters (pro-Chavez) and opponents (anti-Chavez) of the amendment." Conclusions With the onset of the world recession/depression, the collapse of the neo-liberal model and the incapacity of capitalist economists to offer any viable alternative, there is all the more reason to re-elect President Chavez who backs a socialist, publicly directed and controlled economy, which protects and promotes the domestic market and productive system. At a time of Israel's genocidal war, backed by the US and at a time when newly-elected Obama doubles military spending and troops for wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and possibly Iran, the world looks to President Chavez as the world's foremost humanitarian leader, the outstanding defender of freedom, peace and self-determination. The approval of the re-election amendment is not only a vote for Venezuelan democracy but equally a vote in defense of the billions of oppressed Third World people who regard President Chavez as their principled leader: The only President who refuses to support Bush-Obama's imperial 'war on terror'. The only President who ousted Israel's ambassador in righteous repudiation of Israel's genocidal assault on the people of Gaza. Much more is at stake on February 15, 2009 than a constitutional amendment and the re-election of a president. With the outcome rides the future of democracy and socialism in Venezuela and the hopes and aspirations of hundreds of millions who look to President Chavez as an example in their revolutionary struggle to overthrow militarists and depression-racked capitalist states. January 8, 2009 >> In what way is this relevant? >> What new processes did he contribute to inventing? > > Paul C: > > What Soros, or any capitalist, buys ownership in a firm they thereby > have a role in firm decision-making and that includes the types of > technologies which will be bought or developed by the firm.  His > 'contribution' is his money - without which the process of invention > couldn't continue. > > It is relevant to your claim that Soros is parasitic and Ford was > not. > > In solidarity, Jerry > _______________________________________________ > ope mailing list > > > _______________________________________________ ope mailing list

ope mailing list
Received on Thu Jan 29 03:15:31 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sat Jan 31 2009 - 00:00:04 EST